Sara Netanyahu Is a Suspect in Bezeq Bribery Case, Report Says

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife is suspected of taking bribes in connection with the corruption investigation of the Israeli leader and the owner of the country’s biggest telecommunications company, Bezeq Ltd., Hadashot TV said, citing police.

A police representative confirmed that Sara Netanyahu was being regarded as a suspect in the case during court testimony in Tel Aviv, the television report said. The officer was responding to a lawyer who asked whether the Netanyahu’s wife was aware that Bezeq’s Walla news site published flattering stories about her in exchange for regulatory benefits, according to Hadashot.

“There is no end to the absurdity, and in any case the coverage of Prime Minister Netanyahu at Walla was and regularly remains negative,” the Netanyahu family said in a statement posted on the prime minister’s Facebook page.

In a separate case, Sara Netanyahu, 59, was charged in June with the misuse of public funds involving nearly $100,000 of unauthorized spending on restaurant-prepared meals she told staff to order for the prime minister’s residence.

She’s denied wrongdoing, and the prime minister has said the case is part of a “witch hunt” by political opponents and the media against his family.

Bezeq’s controlling shareholder, Shaul Elovitch, left as chairman in 2017 because of the corruption probe. Stella Handler announced her resignation as chief executive officer in March after also being implicated in the influence-peddling investigation.

Bezeq shares fell 0.8 percent to 4.31 shekels in trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.